Spanish fly

(redirected from Cantharide)
Also found in: Dictionary, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
  • noun

Words related to Spanish fly

green beetle of southern Europe

References in periodicals archive ?
Spanish Fly or cantharides, if taken internally, cause excruciating irritation to the intestine and urinary tract.
In the case of Charles II, who suffered a stroke on February 1st, 1685, his physicians bled him, purged him, shaved his head and applied blister-raising cantharides plasters to his scalp, pressed red-hot irons upon his skin, administered enemas of rock salt and syrup of buckthorn and orange infusion of metals in white wine.
Among his surviving holograph manuscripts is an essay on the relative efficacy of different aphrodisiacs: viper wine is "powerfull," cantharides (better known today as Spanish fly) "mighteleye provokes, butt is dangerous," and foods such as lamb's testicles, sparrow's brains, "All younge meates," chestnuts, and melons are effective provokers of lust.
His legs were also blistered with plasters of cantharides and mustard to draw the humours out through his feet; his forehead was bled with lee ches; he was purged with strong emetics; and his room was kept so cold none of his staff would stay with him.
Hollenkemp, an 1852 case, the court let stand a punitive damages award against a local drug store where the store's agent had accidentally mixed cantharides in the plaintiff's medicine, making him ill.